Match ends, Derby County 4, Brighton and Hove Albion 1.
Derby County secured their place in the Championship play-off final at Wembley as they beat Brighton 4-1 to clinch a 6-2 aggregate semi-final victory.
The Rams, who led 2-1 after the first leg, extended their lead when Will Hughes flicked in Jamie Ward's cross.
Chris Martin bundled the ball over the line after Ward's knock-down and George Thorne volleyed in a spectacular third.
Jeff Hendrick made it 4-0 after Patrick Bamford's pull-back, before Kazenga Lua Lua's consolation from 18 yards.
Brighton, who have never played in the Premier League, have lost in the play-offs in two successive seasons.
But this was a deserved victory for Derby, who will play either Wigan Athletic or Queens Park Rangers in the final on Saturday, 24 May.
Steve McClaren's side, who finished 13 points above their opponents, benefited from a controversial 22nd-minute decision from referee Craig Pawson.
He only booked Hendrick for a lunge on Brighton's Rohan Ince when he could easily have sent the midfielder off.
And the hosts were in front 12 minutes later, when Hughes back-heeled Ward's left-wing delivery home for his first goal since 9 November.
Derby, who were last in the top flight in the 2007-08 season, nearly made it 2-0 on the night as Ward charged down Tomasz Kuszczak's attempted clearance, but the ball bounced over the bar.
Brighton's top goalscorer Leonardo Ulloa had a chance to pull a goal back when he collected Jesse Lingard's intelligent lofted pass, only to be denied by Lee Grant's excellent save.
Any hopes of a fightback ended in the 56th minute as Martin grabbed his 25th goal of the season following Ward's unselfish header across the face of goal.
Oscar Garcia's side fell further behind on 76 minutes as Thorne volleyed in a spectacular third after Brighton failed to clear Johnny Russell's shot.
It was 4-0 when Hendrick converted after fine work from Bamford, though Lua Lua did at least give Brighton fans something to cheer with a composed finish from the edge of the penalty area.
This was Derby's day, though, and they can look forward to a trip to Wembley.
They will learn the identity of their final opponents on Monday, when QPR and Wigan play their second leg at Loftus Road after a 0-0 draw at the DW Stadium.
Derby manager Steve McClaren said:
"It is a great achievement by the players. We did not perform as we can on Thursday but they were awesome today, wearing Brighton down with their energy, enthusiasm and bringing the end product as well.
"It is a one-off game at Wembley and if we play like that we are a match for anyone."
Brighton manager Oscar Garcia said:
"They were much better than us and deserved the win.
"We have had a lot of injuries and we played the most important game of the season with four or five under-21 players.
"We wanted to give everything and gamble, but it didn't pay off. They are extremely good in front of goal and we did not play very well, but we have no regrets."
- 8HendrickBooked at 22mins
- 19HughesSubstituted forEustaceat 85'minutes
- 11RussellSubstituted forBamfordat 78'minutes
- 10WardSubstituted forDawkinsat 67'minutes
- 3GreerSubstituted forChicksenat 24'minutesBooked at 45mins
- 5DunkBooked at 30mins
- 30BuckleySubstituted forLua Luaat 57'minutes
- 11OrlandiSubstituted forMackail-Smithat 57'minutes
- 19UlloaBooked at 56mins
- 25Lua Lua
- Craig Pawson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Derby County 4, Brighton and Hove Albion 1.
Attempt missed. Kazenga Lua Lua (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jesse Lingard.
Goal! Derby County 4, Brighton and Hove Albion 1. Kazenga Lua Lua (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Leonardo Ulloa.
Foul by Chris Martin (Derby County).
Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Derby County 4, Brighton and Hove Albion 0. Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Patrick Bamford.
Patrick Bamford (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Stephen Ward (Brighton and Hove Albion).
John Eustace (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion).
George Thorne (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Keith Andrews (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Substitution, Derby County. John Eustace replaces Will Hughes.
Will Hughes (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Keith Andrews (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Attempt blocked. Adam Chicksen (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kazenga Lua Lua.
Foul by George Thorne (Derby County).
Jesse Lingard (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Derby County. Patrick Bamford replaces Johnny Russell.